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Sunday, Sep. 4, 2011

Iwase collects 300th career save


HIROSHIMA — Chunichi closer Hitoki Iwase became the first pitcher in Japanese baseball to reach 300 career saves and Tony Blanco hit a three-run go-ahead homer in the Dragons' 5-2 win over the Hiroshima Carp on Saturday.

News photo
Tight grip: Swallows southpaw Kyohei Muranaka fires a pitch to the Giants in Friday's Central League game at Jingu Stadium. Tokyo Yakult beat Yomiuri 4-2. KYODO PHOTO

All-time saves leader Iwase retired three in the ninth for his 24th save of the season after Blanco's blast over the left-field wall turned a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning at Mazda Stadium.

"I failed to get the save in my last outing (against the Hanshin Tigers on Thursday), so I am glad I could achieve it today," said Iwase, who became baseball's all-time leader in an interleague game against the Softbank Hawks when he recorded his 287th save on June 16.

"Since (Hiromitsu) Ochiai-san became the manager, I have been entrusted with the closer's role and have been able to post this many saves because of him. I feel relieved. I think this achievement will gradually sink in."

Yohei Oshima added a sacrifice fly and Blanco tacked on a run-scoring single in the sixth.

Kazuki Yoshimi (12-3) held the damage to one run and three hits over five innings. Giancarlo Alvarado (2-5) took the loss.

Shigenobu Shima and Takuro Ishii homered for the Carp.

Iwase registered at least 40 saves five times in seven years from 2004-2010. Kazuhiro Sasaki combined for 381 career saves, 129 with the Seattle Mariners, in Japan and the major leagues.

Swallows 10, Giants 7

BayStars at Tigers — ppd.


Buffaloes 3, Fighters 2

At Osaka's Kyocera Dome, Hayato Terahara pitched two-run ball over the distance, Takahiro Okada had an RBI double to help rally his team in a three-run third inning and Orix edged Hokkaido Nippon Ham to win its sixth in a row.

Terahara (11-7) scattered eight hits, struck out five and walked none to pick up his first win since July 29. Fighters rookie Yuki Saito (5-3) allowed three unearned runs in 6⅓ innings of the loss.

Hawks 10, Lions 7

At Seibu Dome, Hiroki Kokubo homered and drove in four runs as PL leader Softbank rallied in a six-run fifth inning en route to a win over Seibu to snap a four-game losing skid and move four games ahead of second-place Nippon Ham.

Eagles 10, Marines 1

At QVC Marine Field, Masahiro Tanaka pitched in and out of trouble over seven shutout innings and struck out eight as Tohoku Rakuten sent Chiba Lotte to its fourth loss in a row.

Tanaka (14-4) allowed runners in scoring position five times, but escaped unscathed and walked none in a 90-pitch outing.

Takeshi Yamasaki opened the scoring with a two-run double in a three-run first inning and the Eagles offense rapped out 15 hits.

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